Life in the countryside, part II

We try to go for a walk almost every evening and have started to explore our new surroundings in the past week or two. We used to do a little loop through the streets (“einmal um den Pudding”) when living in Bonn and Andernach, but the village we now live in is too small for that. Instead, we explore the country lanes and paths around the village. It’s always interesting, mostly thanks to two things: One, the landscape is very hilly, so you’re always able to see the next village over there, and isn’t that this other village we drove through before? Two, there’s a lot of wildlife around, and sometimes you’re lucky to see some of it.

On our walk last night we saw four deer – two pairs consisting of a mother and a fawn each. They were browsing near the forest in the evening sun, but fled when they saw us. We also saw lots of buzzards and maybe some falcons, too, but they were pretty common in the Eifel as well, so we’re used to seeing them.

The less romantic side of country life is that whenever you open a window or door just a crack, some of the lovely wildlife is eager to come into your house. So far, we’ve had lots of flies, spiders, a few wasps (there’s a nest under the roof), moths, daddy longlegs and grasshoppers – the latter live in our garden, there are literally dozens of them on each square metre of grass.

P.S.: A couple of days ago, a tiny bird flew into the teacher’s room at school through the open balcony door. I managed to catch it with a towel and brought it back outside. I didn’t know what kind of bird it was, so I looked it up later: It was a kinglet (Goldhähnchen), probably a goldcrest (Wintergoldhähnchen). Here are some more photos. Kinglets are the smallest native birds in Germany.

4 thoughts on “Life in the countryside, part II

  1. Scott

    Deer are fun to watch until you find they come into your yard and eat all the flowers.

    As for insects in the house, we’ve done the American thing and put screens on all the windows, except for Vellux skylights that can’t be screened. The bugs still come in the front door, since German houses don’t have porches, but it cuts them down quite a bit.

    The first fall we were here we had dozens of tiny frogs coming in through the basement windows. That taught us in a hurry to cover up the window wells.

  2. Andrea Post author

    You’ve got deer in your garden? Wow!

    And yeah, we bought screens, at least for the bedroom and office windows, but the living room doesn’t have windows you can open, only two doors leading out into the garden, and it kind of defies their purpose to put screens on them. We would need a screen door, but I’m not sure if we would be able to put one up because there are (non-openable) windows to the left and right of the doors. We’ll try to find a solution in time for next spring.

  3. Daniel

    My sister used to live next to a pig barn in the Niederrhein area. She always had flies in there and – maybe even more annoying – their poop, little tiny spots, everywhere on the floor….

  4. Scott

    You’ve got deer in your garden?

    Only when we have freshly planted flowers in the spring. They seem to like pansies. They uproot them, eat the flowers and the greens, then leave the roots.

    They come at night, so we’ve never seen them. But they leave tracks.

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